John Edmonstone was a taxidermist and teacher of taxidermy in Britain. Born as a slave in the late 1700s, he managed to secure his freedom in 1817, later moving to Edinburgh where he lectured on his chosen trade, taxidermy. As a lecturer, John taught many students the art of taxidermy, most prominently a young Charles Darwin! Darwin, aged only 15 at the time he attended the university, mastered the art under the tutelage of John. Darwin would go on to utilise taxidermy models often for research purposes in his later life, using the methods that his instructor had taught him to produce them.